We do hope you're all keeping safe and well...it's a bit chilly out, isn't it?!
Welcome to our new format newsletter - it's our first adventure in blogging, so let's see how it goes...
Despite the recent snowfall, Spring's just about in sight - as you can see from the lovely pics below. Please do keep your photos coming: it may not be the most mindful of exercises to look ahead to another season, but it sure is a happy and hopeful way to get through Winter 🤗
Lucy & the MindFood Team
(Credit: snowdrops by Kate)
Credits by row: Farah's promising bulbs, Kate's first daffies, Camilla's glimpse of spring; Sarah's sweet pea top pinching (Pauline's delicate handy work), Narciza's lone crocus, Heather's irises; Camilla's aconites, Madiha's terrarium and Anne-Marie's stunning amaryllis.
MindFood at Home - it's happening!
We're delighted to confirm that our MindFood at Home programme is now well under way. We're offering 4 Zoom get-togethers a week - they've proved a popular way to stay connected with the MindFood Family.
Our Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday sessions are in place for anyone hoping to start our Growing Wellbeing courses at the plots soon, and for anyone who wants to connect with a regular growing group from home.
Together, we've been getting up close and personal with our first sprouting seedlings, sharing ideas to get growing, and we've made deliveries to participants keen to try out their green fingers for the first time.
Please do keep an eye on our eventbrite listings for new start dates, our simply let Lucy know you're keen to join in. The next round starts on Tuesday 23rd February at 2pm.
At the 3pm Thursday Zoom sessions, we bring Plot to Plate regulars together for an informal nature-themed catch-up and Grow Some Share Some updates.
Heather's pic here shows the first seedlings she'll be fostering for us at home.
In a few weeks' time they'll be ready to go to our Grow Some Share Some beneficiaries, and Heather (and all of our Grower Sharers!) will get to keep some for themselves.
Just like last year, the Grow Some Share Some scheme will help 10 local schools (7 primary and 3 SEND) to make up for lost time in their veg gardens when pupils return in Spring.
As you might imagine, it's full steam ahead with seed-sowing for Spring: tomatoes have already been sown in their hundreds, and chillis and aubergines are well under way too.
Starting mediterranean veggies now means that we'll be able to give them the longest Summer season possible, and our earliest sowings will get a head start in the polytunnel.
A word of caution though, if you're sowing this early you'll need to make sure your seedlings don't get weak and 'leggy' indoors. Once they've sprouted you're best to keep them cool and well aired, so they grow slowly and steadily - they'll be all the stronger for it!
Crop of the Month
Let's give it up for Broccoli! Ours has been in the ground for months and months, and its time has finally arrived 🤗
We planted ours back in the Summer, and learned from the year before that you can never be too careful with protective measures for brassicas!
The sweet young leaves are popular with birds and snails alike, so we made sure to keep our plants heavily guarded with fine netting, paying particular attention to any ‘wriggle room‘ at ground level. The netting also gives some protection against frost and snow.
We’re so pleased with the results!
Mindful & Sustainable:
Take a minute to explore a leaf or a flower in minute detail. This snowdrop is a perfect example. Ponder on what you thought you might see, and what you are actually discover. This will highlight the difference between autopilot assumptions and...well...reality. Nature will always surpass our expectations!
Layer up! In this cold weather it’s tempting to crank up the heating. To save on heating bills and CO2 emissions (300kg per extra degree...), dig out those thermals and long johns. Oh yes, we’re all about glamour at MindFood! 🤣
Sarah’s picture here shows the delicious results of our second free Saturday cook-along with the wonderful Nourished Minds team: roasted spiced cauliflower with tahini dressing, and a vibrant winter salad with cannellini beans, almonds, green olives and oranges. We even made our own flatbreads!
Our next cook-along will be Brunch on 27th February, at the earlier-than-usual time of 9.45am and we should be all done by around 11.
Please do let Lucy know if you’d like to join us - the session is open (and free!) to all MindFood participants. Numbers are limited to just 12 people per session, so don’t miss your moment to bag a place 😀
Nourished Minds would love to know more about what you would like to learn in their monthly-themed sessions. They’re very accomplished chefs who can turn their hand to anything...so we’d be grateful if you could complete this short survey to help them shape future sessions for you.
To see more of the awesome culinary delights of the Nourished Minds team, please do check them out on instagram @nourishedmindscookery. For every paid cooking session they offer, they gift a session free of charge to MindFood, Tu Vida (the Carers Trust in Acton), and the Black Sisters support group in Southall.
We’re all so grateful - that’s an outstanding give! 🙌🙌🏾🙌🏽🙌🏿🙌🏼
We'll leave you with a few more pics from the cook- long, so you can get a feel for how it all works 😋
Credits: 'live action' from Lucy, stylish results from Sarah and Amber Joy
For all enquiries regarding any of the MindFood activities shown here, please get in touch with Lucy at firstname.lastname@example.org